BELMONT, N.C. (WBTV) — A former Gaston County teacher, who pleaded guilty to having a sex with an 18-year-old student, will avoid jail time and instead serve two years of probation and surrender her teaching license.
Teika Watkins Helton was arrested and charged in 2015 for having an inappropriate relationship with a student at South Point High School in Belmont.
The victim was not a student of Helton’s, but the two did meet on a school trip, prosecutors said.
Helton’s defense attorney said the sexual relationship was after the victim’s graduation.
In a plea deal, prosecutors are deferring prosecution while Helton serves two years of probation and 200 hours of community service.
If Helton violates the terms of probation, she would have to plead guilty to a class G felony, which still would not net any jail time because Helton does not have a prior record.
In court, the victim’s mother told a judge that Helton had stolen her son’s innocence and claimed Helton had been grooming her son.
The victim’s mother said Helton befriended her.
A friend of the victim later alerted the family about a possible inappropriate relationship.
The mother told reporters she felt the punishment was too light.
Prosecutors said they would have had to prove the date of the misconduct occurred while the victim was still a senior and said it would have been a case of “he said, she said.”
The District Attorney said there was a risk that Helton would still be allowed to teach if a jury found her not guilty.
He said the plea deal requires Helton to surrender her teaching license to the Gaston County School Board.
The victim’s mother encouraged parents to talk with their sons, not just daughters, about sexual predators.
Helton had no comment when leaving the courtroom Tuesday.
She has already served 50 hours of her community service according to her attorney.
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